Anything goes with Integrated

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This article appeared in the 16 April, 2007 issue of CRN magazine.

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Anything goes with Integrated
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VoIP adoption seems to have run longer than many first predicted. Calling VoIP the ‘next big thing’ is a phrase which seems to have dragged on longer than a night at the opera.

However if the fat lady is ever going to ready her vocal cords for
the final song, the market needs more attitudes such as the one displayed by recruitment firm Integrated Group.

Perth-based Integrated offers labour hire and recruitment services throughout Australia. It has approximately 500 office-based staff spread
across 48 locations nationwide.

Integrated Group is currently working with WA-based integrator Anything Telephones to migrate its entire voice and data communications infrastructure to a single nationwide IP backbone.

With 80 staff at its Perth head office, Integrated typically has fewer than 15 staff for each of its branch offices. The highly distributed nature of the business means that delivering consistent services across the entire business proves more challenging.

A significant proportion of Integrated’s phone calls are also between team members. The migration to IP telephony aims to allow reductions in communication costs and simplify the administration work needed to support a highly mobile workforce.

Michael Disbury, group information and communication technology manager at Integrated Group, said the firm started the implementation six months ago, kicking off the overhaul at Integrated’s Perth headquarters.

“We have 48 sites and will roll out the implementation to all of those locations. We have already deployed in eight or nine sites so far,” said Disbury. “Further deployments will depend on budget and if it is the right thing for some of the smaller sites. Hopefully in the next 12 to 18 months we will have done all of our sites.”

Disbury said Integrated is highly focused on tightly controlling operating expenses, as well as constantly looking at ways to improve its services.

“Our team needs to support thousands of contractors out at client sites. Our previous phone system used traditional PABX technology, which was expensive
and difficult to support,” he said.

Discussing the quantifiable benefits of the transition, Disbury said Integrated’s day-to-day manageability has improved, while the firm as a whole is more reactive to customers’ needs.

“Previously if we had a problem with our traditional PABX we would have to call someone out, but the new system is more manageable,” he said. “We are keeping the deployment simple and in the future will look at adding other application such as tighter integrating with our email system.

“Anything Telephones has been a key part of our team during the planning for our new Mitel phone systems. It’s helped us with efficient and reliable remote support for all of our voice solutions, as well as providing on-site assistance across Australia,” said Disbury.

“Our new Mitel phone systems are sent pre-configured to the new site, and can be remotely managed immediately. “

The importance of the channel in the rate of Australian VoIP adoption cannot be understated and this is underlined by Disbury, who said Integrated felt confident working with Anything Telephones, with whom it has a long-standing relationship.

“I would recommend Anything to other firms as an increasing number of businesses look to jump on the VoIP bandwagon. From a supplier perspective, compared with its rivals, Mitel comes out on top as it is very cost effective.”
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